Parliament

Parliamentary leads

Andrew George MP (LD) for Kernow a’n West ha Syllan l West Cornwall and the Scillies

Grahame Morris MP (Lab) for  Easington, Durham

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8th August 2014 Easington MP Grahame Morris, has urged the Government to send the Royal Navy hospital ship RFA Argus, currently based in Falmouth, to spearhead the humanitarian relief effort in Gaza.

The recent conflict has seen Israeli forces repeatedly target civilian infrastructure destroying hospitals, schools, power plants, homes and United Nations facilities housing refugees. Nearly 1,900 Palestinians have been killed and almost 10,000 injured, around 80% civilians. 450,000 people have been displaced and Israel’s attacks have left most of the population without power or water and lacking the basic medical supplies needed to treat huge numbers of ill or injured, plunging 1.8m Palestinians towards a humanitarian catastrophe.

Gaza’s hospitals have been destroyed and damaged and are suffering severe shortages of medical equipment, staff and supplies. With nobody allowed in or out and effective relief being prevented from entering the Strip, Gaza’s hospitals are unable to cope. The petition, supported by Mr. Morris which has gained 18,000 signatures, is calling on the UK Government to deploy the RFA Argus hospital ship to Gaza to assist in their humanitarian crisis.

Mr. Morris said “Watching the events unfold in Gaza this last month, it is impossible not to be horrified. We are witnessing a massacre. Without regard for international law or human life, a powerful occupying nation is unleashing their full military might against the civilian population whom they occupy.

Israel’s killing and maiming thousands of Palestinians and targeting of civil infrastructure, hospitals, UN shelters, schools and homes is morally unjustifiable and amount to war crimes. Gaza has already suffered an illegal 7 year long blockade that Israel administers to permit bare survival but nothing more and this latest assault has left it on the precipice of a humanitarian catastrophe.

Israel continues to bombard Gaza and restrict the flow of essential medical supplies and humanitarian relief. Doctors are operating on floors, people are dying without treatment and there are severe shortages of staff and resources. With nobody allowed in our out of Gaza, the situation has become intolerable and something must be done by the UK Government.

The Prime Minister’s silence and inaction has been shameful and the UK government cannot continue to stand by and do nothing. I call on the Prime Minister as a matter of urgency to use the hospital ship RFA Argus, moored in Falmouth, to spearhead a humanitarian relief effort for the people of Gaza. She is uniquely designed for this type of necessity and the British Government must unilaterally and rapidly deploys RFA Argus to Gaza.”

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8th August 2014 George urges Prime Minister David Cameron to deploy RFA Argus to Gaza

West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, has stepped up his campaign for the Government to send the Royal Navy hospital ship RFA Argus to Gaza. Mr George has now written to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, to call for the immediate deployment of the Falmouth based RFA Argus to support the humanitarian effort in Gaza. Mr George previously wrote to the Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Fallon (4th August) to request deployment of the ship to Gaza.

Mr George said, “I have written to the Prime Minister on behalf of thousands of people who have signed or support a petition gathered in Cornwall in the last few days, and also many MPs across all Parties to urge the Government to act quickly to deploy UK MOD assets in support of the humanitarian effort to help the beleaguered people of Gaza.

“I am confident that, had Parliament been sitting now, there would be overwhelming support amongst my MP colleagues for the Government to take a much more decisive role by providing concerted humanitarian and medical aid in support of the people of Gaza.

“Even those who do not agree with me – and, indeed, Baroness Warsi, and other notables – that the UK should do more to condemn the actions of Israel and to demonstrate international leadership in criticising the disproportionate and indiscriminate nature of their military campaign, would, nevertheless, support such a humanitarian initiative.”

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7th August 2014 TASKING RFA ARGUS (OR EQUIVALENT) FOR HUMANITARIAN AID SUPPORT TO THE PEOPLE OF GAZA

Andrew George presents our petition of 1300 signatures to the Prime Minister

Further to my email to you of 31st July 2014 and representations made to the Defence Secretary on 4th August 2014 I write on behalf of thousands of people who have signed or support a petition gathered in Cornwall in the last few days (attached), and also many MPs across all Parties to urge the Government to act quickly to deploy UK MOD assets in support of the humanitarian effort to help the beleaguered people of Gaza.

We have already pointed to the capacity of RFA Argus which is currently alongside in Falmouth.  I am not currently aware of its readiness to be deployed but I am of its versatility and its potential capacity to provide a supportive casualty evacuation and management facility to help some of the seriously injured people in Gaza and the hospitals which have been overwhelmed.

I understand that the ship has a number of allocated directed tasks, but I would hope that the capacity of assets like that of RFA Argus could be deployed by the UK as swiftly as possible.

In these circumstances, I am sure that the majority of people in this country believe that this would be the right and proper thing to do and appropriate to the standing which we hope that the United Kingdom has in the world as a country which will go to the aid of others in their hour of need.

I look forward to receiving your response.
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5th August 2014 Andrew George MP writes to Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence

West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, has urged the Government to send the Royal Navy hospital ship RFA Argus, currently based in Falmouth, to spearhead the humanitarian relief effort in Gaza. On Thursday, Mr George condemned Israel for “terrorising” the population in Gaza and wrote to the Prime Minister David Cameron to show international leadership in the face of the Israeli “onslaught”. Mr George described the assault by the IDF, one of the largest armies in the world, on Gaza, a territory roughly a tenth the size of Cornwall, as a “disproportionate act of cold blooded murder.”

Mr George said, “We must all find ways to support the citizens of Gaza. Therefore, I urge the Government to send the Royal Navy hospital ship RFA Argus to spearhead the humanitarian relief effort to Gaza. The ship is moored in Falmouth and is designed and equipped for this type of relief effort.

“The brutalising and cavalier way Israel is killing and maiming thousands of Palestinians and destruction of the infrastructure, hospitals, UN shelters, schools and homes in Gaza is horrific. Israel continues to bombard Gaza and restrict the flow of essential medical supplies and humanitarian relief into Gaza. A humanitarian crisis in Gaza must be intolerable, with people unable to get out, and effective relief barely able to get in.

“The UK should not just sit back and do nothing. Britain should be at the forefront of the humanitarian response to the tragic events in Gaza. By deploying RFA Argus, we would offer a symbol of action and support from the UK via Cornwall towards the citizens of Gaza severely affected by Israel’s military response.”

Mr George has written to the Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Fallon, to call for the immediate deployment of RFA Argus to support the humanitarian effort in Gaza.

He has also approached local humanitarian aid relief organisations based in his constituency – ShelterBox and Tom Henderson’s Byond Disaster Relief – to enquire about capacity to mount a shelter relief effort, should that be necessary and the resource and intent of the UK Government is provided.

He has also approached local humanitarian aid relief organisations based in his constituency – ShelterBox and Tom Henderson’s Byond Disaster Relief – to enquire about capacity to mount a shelter relief effort, should that be necessary and the resource and intent of the UK Government is provided.

Find our petition here, please sign & share
http://change.org/hospitalship2gaza
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